Our new mega-project: A dedicated diagnostics partnering conference to foster success for Diagnostics & LifeScience Research Tools!

Our newest diagnostics project has officially been launched today. After years of contemplating about the idea it feels somewhat as a relieve to reach to point of no return. Now there is no other way than actually getting done. A huge work load lies ahead and yes, I am this will be the biggest project that the SilverSky team as tackled. But lets try from the beginning by traveling 5 year back in time…

Back in 2014 I was CEO at Miacom Diagnostics, a German Molecular Diagnostics company that I had signed on with in 2009 during a restructuring mandate. In 2014 things looked quite positive – we had successfully launched a few IVD products in Europe and were able to win Fosun Pharmaceuticals as minority investor and strategic partner. I seemed clear that we were on the road towards an exit. The dream of every founder. What did I know.

The difference between wanting to be acquired and being acquired.

Back in 2014 I had already been blessed to be involved in several M&A deals as Corporate Finance advisor. But at Miacom we decided to move forward without any external help. Certainly I was somewhat overly optimist with regards to China and how quickly we could get traction in Asia. Also, with ongoing FDA trials for one of the fastest sepsis assays I felt that we could attract the attention of potential partners. And of course through my consultancy I did have an extensive network of diagnostics executives. So between running daily operations, recruiting and managing FDA trial sites, building a small team in the USA and planning a production in Shanghai I started to engage with potential buyers. At least I tried.

Very soon I realised that without an dedicated and full-time resource this would become quite a challenge. Unfortunately for various reasons the door to obtain outside advisory support was locked and I was facing a quite rocky road until we obtained FDA approval and were able to sell the diagnostics business of Miacom to a German diagnostics company in 2017. But this rocky road was also the birth of the idea that the world – or at least I – needed a professional, international partnering conference that solely address the specific needs of the diagnostic industry. An event such as BioEurope or JP Morgan but aimed only at bringing diagnostics executives together. I believe such a conference would made my life somewhat easier back then.

The idea: DxPx Conference – Get to know each other. Exchange views. Do business together.

Back then this idea was more a need. And the feeling that as a CEO of a diagnostics start-up a I had just picked the wrong industry. Everything seemed to be somewhat more easily in pharma. Larger funding rounds, more interest from VC, more attractive deal terms for outlicensing and conferences where you could schedule or at least request meeting with numerous potential partners on a decision maker level. After attending several BioEurop0, ChinaBio, AACC and other potential partnering events I eventually sold Miacom to a German IVD company that was introduced to me via a joined development partner.

Turned out that all my efforts attending these pharma focused partnering events did not really be the success factor. But I still believed that there would be a benefit in genreal if such partnering meeting would be set up with a clear focus on pharma. So with the exit in October 2017 I started to do some more market research and discussing this idea with friends and colleagues from the diagnostics industry. And today? Today we were able to negotiate terms with a hotel to organise such meeting during MEDICA 2019. Let’s see where this DxPx idea will eventually take us.

Best, Mirko Stange